Building a team
Every entrepreneur acknowledges the fact that choosing the right people for the job at a very early stage of a start-up is key. This is a crucial element that might get your start-up to succeed or to fail. True. But as you are scaling, you discover that it is not only true at an early stage but, also throughout your growth and expansion. So here we are on a quest to find our top Engineering women and men that will create, build, improve, suggest and change Engineering work at BlaBlaCar to make sure that we have a great product that scales and is maintainable to welcome our 60+ million users on our platform.
So where to start? Defining who we want to hire for our team.
Finding the right people
Every Tech-driven company knows that finding top-notch Engineering talents is a long and hard quest. Of course, you have people with great technical skills out there but we think it’s important to hire not only top rockstars but the ones that actually fit our culture, are highly motivated by our product and committed to our vision. It is important to welcome people that believe in the story we’re writing and want to have a valuable impact on it.
So before looking out for great candidates, we had to make sure to define our culture and break it down into soft skills. In 2018, at BlaBlaCar, we introduced 6 new principles and here is how we have defined our “must-have” competencies or soft skills:
Be open-minded, curious and take time to share knowledge with others and learn from them. Our context is constantly evolving and we have to adapt and innovate constantly. We need people who are open to change.
Be creative and innovative, whilst being realistic and demanding.
Care, understand and ideally use our service.
Be resilient, constructive and transparent about your mistakes.
Look at step ahead.
Passion takes fun & serious.
Hiring the best talents for our team means sticking to our values and to the skills we strongly believe are important for the team. Even though the job market for Engineering is tense, we always seek to hire high.
Exploring various channels
We have decided to build an internal Talent Acquisition team to get to grips with this quest. This is a great asset as we understand our vision, we know the team and how life at BlaBlaCar is — this is always very positively welcome by candidates.
Then, we continuously explore our ecosystem and Engineering marketplace. Here are some channels we use on a regular basis: participate or host meetups/conferences to share good practices, meet and discuss; contact interesting profiles on LinkedIn and other social media to present our Engineering projects, challenges and opportunities; post our jobs on dedicated Engineering channels; present our Tech stack, culture and working environment.
Last but not least, when you know you have great people within your team, it’s important to engage them all throughout the process:
- Network — Our engineers can attend conferences in Europe if they wish to learn and share knowledge as well as network.
- Recommend — We have set-up a referral program which works well. Over the past two years, we have hired 25% of our Tech team through this mean.
- Hire — We have a very collaborative hiring process where our engineers interview, test and challenge candidates and take part in our decision-making process to hire a candidate.
Cherishing our candidate experience
We never neglect a single moment of our candidate experience. From the first contact on LinkedIn or during a meetup to the first day at BlaBlaCar, a candidate goes through many stages of excitement, questions, negotiation…We always make sure we’re available to support them or answer their questions.
Our hiring process is quick and collaborative. Our objective is to offer each candidate the chance to get to know BlaBlaCar, future team members and projects he/she will be working on. Each candidate will go through different stages: call to define expectations with a Talent Acquisition Manager, discussion with the engineering manager, technical interviews with our developers/architects and a final chat with our VP Engineering and in some cases our CEO. Our top management cares about new people we hire and are therefore engaged in our process.
Our quest is continuing in 2018 as we have many new Tech challenges…